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Writing the History of the Relations between Medicine, Gender and the Body in the Twentieth Century: A Way Forward?

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Published in Clio. 2013, vol. 37, p. 143-162
Abstract This article reviews recent work in the social study of science (Social Studies of Knowledge or SSK), as well as in cultural studies and feminist criticism of the physical sciences, in order to demonstrate the contribution made by these fields of study, and their reading of the history of very recent bio-medical innovations in the spheres of human reproduction and sexuality. In particular, publications in SSK have suggested a dense and complex reading of human-technological relations, and of the ways in which social and gender relations are implicated in them. Considering the parallel between some of these approaches (themselves part of the “descriptive turn” in the social sciences) and broader economic and social change (the reconfiguration of the self through biotechnologies as an individual promise in a neo-liberal context) the article seeks to envisage how a revitalized historical approach might contribute to these subjects. It might, for example, make more explicit the density of the social and scientific context within which certain technological change occurs; demonstrate the historicity of what is at stake for gender and social relations; and propose a new set of narratives which would recognize the normative political and economic dimensions of technological change.
Keywords GenderScienceMedicineBodyBio-technical innovation
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GARDEY, Delphine. Writing the History of the Relations between Medicine, Gender and the Body in the Twentieth Century: A Way Forward?. In: Clio, 2013, vol. 37, p. 143-162. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:76226

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Deposited on : 2015-10-16

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